Getting to Know the CEO

By: Richard Taylor Edwards

The CEO or Chief Executive Officer is the same worldwide, with the only difference being the performance of his duties. In smaller companies, he may report directly to the president or even the owner of the company, but within a corporate ladder, the Chief Executive Officer may operate as the on-site equivalent of the president who may be in another city or even another country. Quite often he will work with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to make sure that the company's assets are protected and that a reasonable profit margin is maintained.

In some very large corporate structure, there may be more than one CEO much as there may be a Vice President of Sales, Vice President of Finance, and the like, though most often it is a regional designation such as CEO of Eastern Operations. However the company designs the position, the duties remain similar. The CEO is in charge of running the division to which he is assigned and assuring that all corporate policies and procedures are followed. It's a position of high importance and one that requires both expertise and experience in the business world.

In most cases, a CEO is not hired from outside the company but promoted from within. Exceptions do exist such as the non-existence of a suitable candidate within the company, but that is not the normal procedure. A CEO will have at least a Bachelor's degree, if not a Master's degree in either Business Administration or Management and in most cases, at least ten years experience in the field - less may be possible if a promotion from within is imminent. Most companies require the CEO to have worked at another executive capacity at least an Assistant Vice President within a large department rather than just a manager.

The CEO is responsible for the decision making for the company and will make decisions that will affect the company's future. Therefore, the CEO cannot be someone who has a problem with decision-making or is unsure of his decision-making capabilities. It is a highly stressful position, so it is not a position for the timid or a single parent who has to rush to pick up children by a certain time of the evening. Some travel may be required, especially between locations, so the CEO must be able to attend to those duties as they arise. The CEO is a very important position within a company, and as such, the person who fills the position must be one who is ready to devote a great deal of time, does not have inclinations to change companies, and can exercise loyalty at all costs.

Corporate Matters
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